「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

主婦の年金 「痛み」避けては改革も進まぬ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 8, 2011)
Pension system reform will involve pain
主婦の年金 「痛み」避けては改革も進まぬ(11月7日付・読売社説)

Irrationally generous "relief measures" will definitely fail to win public understanding.
 行き過ぎた“救済”は国民の理解を到底得られないだろう。

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan's study panel on welfare and labor issues has decided not to ask for repayment of excess national pension benefits paid to housewives whose spouses were formerly company or public-sector employees.
They have received more pension benefits than they were entitled to because they failed to update their pension status.
 主婦の年金資格の切り替え忘れ問題で、民主党の厚生労働部門会議は、規定より多く年金を受け取ってきた受給者に対して、過払い分の返還請求を見送る方針を決めた。

In line with the decision, the government will shortly have the Cabinet adopt a bill to revise the National Pension Law, to be submitted to the current extraordinary Diet session.
 政府はこれに従い、近く国民年金法改正案を閣議決定し、臨時国会に提出する構えだ。

However, the plan faces strong criticism that it will appear to make honesty not pay.
 だが、これには「正直者がバカを見る」との批判が強い。

We believe the government must in principle ask those concerned to repay the excess pension benefits they have received.
原則として、過払い分は返還を求めるべきだろう。

In this respect, we seriously question the way the DPJ makes policy decisions.
民主党の政策決定のあり方は、大きな疑問符が付く。

The people in question are full-time housewives whose spouses are company or government employees. Called Category III beneficiaries, they do not have to pay pension premiums themselves.
 問題となったのは、会社員や公務員の妻のケースだ。「第3号被保険者」と呼ばれ、自らは保険料を払う必要がない。

After their husbands leave their jobs or their own annual income reaches 1.3 million yen or more, however, they are required to switch to the national pension program and start paying their own pension premiums.
 ただし、夫が脱サラしたり、妻のパート収入が年130万円以上になったりした場合は、国民年金に切り替えて、主婦も自分の保険料を払わなくてはならない。

But it came to light that about 420,000 housewives younger than eligibility age have failed to switch to the national pension program and thus have not paid the premiums they are supposed to pay.
 ところが、切り替えをせずに保険料が未納になっている現役世代の主婦が42万人いることが判明した。

Because of the error, about 53,000 pensioners already receive excess benefits averaging more than 10,000 yen per year.
すでに本来の額以上の年金を受け取っている高齢者は5万3000人に上る。過払い額は平均で年1万円余りになる。

===

No firm decision made

The government and the DPJ went back and forth over this problem.
 この問題を巡って、政府・民主党の対応は二転三転した。

In March last year, then Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Akira Nagatsuma decided to disregard unpaid pension premiums by the housewives in question, effectively deeming them to have appropriately paid pension premiums.
 まず、長妻厚労相当時の昨年3月、切り替えていなかった人をすべて不問に付し、保険料を納めてきたとみなすことにした。

However, this decision drew fierce criticism.
It was called unfair to treat those who did not pay premiums the same way as the many people who went through the necessary procedures and paid the pension premiums as required.
Consequently, Ritsuo Hosokawa who succeeded Nagatsuma as welfare minister withdrew the decision in March this year.
 だが、きちんと手続きをした人と同じでは不公平だと批判が噴出し、後任の細川前厚労相が今年3月に撤回した。

In May, the welfare ministry's Social Security Council came up with a compromise proposal whereby those who have already received excess pension benefits as a result of not switching to the national pension program would be asked to repay the excess amount they received in the past five years, the period not excluded by the statute of limitations. At the same time, the proposal called for reductions or exemptions for low-income earners.
 5月には社会保障審議会で、切り替えをせずに本来より多く受給している高齢者については、低所得者に減免措置を講じつつ、時効になっていない直近5年分の「もらい過ぎ」を返還してもらうとの収拾策をまとめた。

However, in the process of compiling a bill to revise the National Pension Law, opposition to the plan grew within the party, with some members insisting no requests should be made to return excess pension benefits.
 ところが法案をまとめる段階で党内から「返還請求は一切すべきではない」との声がわき起こり、今月1日にまた方針転換した。

As a result, the government and the DPJ made another policy switch on Nov. 1. Former welfare minister Nagatsuma, the one who initially threw the matter into confusion by proposing the excessive relief measure, took the lead in compiling the latest plan.
その結論のとりまとめ役は、最初に過剰な救済策を打ち出して迷走を招いた長妻元厚労相だ。

===

Basic principle at stake

Opponents to the proposed benefit repayment were apparently wary of its possible adverse effect on future elections, worrying that it could be taken as ill treatment of the elderly.
 高齢者いじめと見られては選挙に不利、との思惑があったのだろうが、

But it is a basic principle of social insurance that members of the public should receive benefits in accordance with their premium payments.
納めた保険料に応じて給付を得るというのが社会保険の基本である。

In light of this principle, it is unreasonable not to ask everyone to return excess benefits.
一切返還無用とするのはおかしい。

The public will definitely be asked to endure some pain during the overhaul of the pension system and other social security programs.
 年金に限らず社会保障制度を手直しするには、どこかで必ず国民の「痛み」が伴う。

Progress cannot be made on social security reform unless the DPJ has the resolve to persuade the public of its necessity.
国民を説得する姿勢が民主党になければ、社会保障改革は進むまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2011)
(2011年11月7日01時28分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-11-09 06:37 | 英字新聞

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